Journey in the Woods

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Interesting weather these days...

So, it snowed today... ( you can see we're still working on the remains of the fallen madrone)
and, we've also been getting some better sunsets. Nice, huh?

Milled up some of that Madrone....


Here I just slipped the mill under the tree where it was supported by the upper branches... then I just cut off the two ends and the gigantic piece settled on the mill.

You can also see that I sliced a few pieces off the end to use as stepping 'stones' for our path to the yurt.





















it's a big log, with some beautiful grain.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

By the end of the day....

Melissa helped stack the wood, and show how big the tree still is.

















We stacked the wood in a number of places. Maybe next fall's heat?
















Looks pretty good, we'll see if it ends up falling over.

















Wore me out.

So we got to work...
Cutting off the leafy branches (for the chipper latter), and chopping up the smaller branches with an axe.

















By lunchtime, I had things more organized.
















Got this far without the chainsaw.

When a tree falls in the forest......


heck yeah it makes a sound. This morning at about 7:15am (we were still in bed) this giant madrone came down in a huge crash.
















It's hard to show how big this thing is... the part that crosses the road is bigger than I can wrap my arms around.




















It fell right on top of the brand new Persimmon tree we planted, took a few branches off the apple tree, and hit a few of the blueberries.















Looks like with the heavy rains weighing down the leaves and perhaps a bit of rotted roots took it down. Glad I wasn't under it.

Monday, February 12, 2007



Moving lumber...


I spent the afternoon moving GIGANTIC logs around, with centuries old technology, mostly pulleys and rope.

Here you can see the size of the thinner, longer log I moved (It's about 20 feet long, about 14" in diameter). By the time I called Melissa to take my picture, I had things worked out so that I could pull it uphill with one arm by walking backwards...
















Here you can see my goofy rain hat (it had begun to sprinkle) and some of the pulley rigging. I have a block and tackle set up that has 4 pulleys/ropes. It makes the lift something like 8 to 1... Then I tie off the main rope on either side of the uphill, and run the bight (the bend in the rope) under and around the middle of the log, creating another loop, and I hook the pulley system to the middle of that loop. (creating an upside down letter 'M' with the main rope) so the log roles inside the rope. it's amazing how much you can pull.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

We took some trees down...

Melissa helped gather the branches, as we intend to borrow a chipper and get some wood chips for our trails around the property.
















Scout managed to get very involved in her supervision of our activities. She laid down right in the pile:





















Check out the length of the tree we took down, laying in a place we don't want it.

A bit of Rain...


We had a bunch of rain over the last few days... we stayed in quite a bit. This is a view out the front door looking SE.





















Looking NE out the front door of the yurt.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Went and got a propane fridge....

off of either Craigslist or santacruz freecycle, I found a very nice person who was willing to let me come over and pull a propane fridge out of their old camper so I could work on building a sort of chest freezer when I figure out how to make it work. (long project for later)

I pulled up to a very quaint looking farm in a really nice looking area sort of east of Santa Cruz.

Here's the front of where I pulled up:
















The camper had been sitting there for quite some time, with leaks in the roof and mold on everything.

















The goats were curious, and a strange hazard. This one was like a puppy, and would jump up on his hind legs and try and nuzzle against me as I'd go back and forth from the truck to the camper. Just in case you can't tell, he's about 7ft tall when standing like that. I took this picture standing fully upright.





















it was a pretty easy job, in that they didn't care what I broke while I was in there. it was pretty weird though. here's a shot after I pulled the thing out.





















This is the little female goat that liked to butt into me. I tried to block her onslaught with a stiff-arm to her forehead, and now my wrist hurts (again -- a la my bike accident a year ago) cute goat though.




















Doing the Science

Melissa got out the soil testing kit as we are almost finished putting the gopher fencing in, and checked for all sorts of things. Seems to me like the little test kit suggests a lot of compost. surprise!

Friday, February 02, 2007


Got the Generator Going!




Thanks to Peter the Great, who came out and brought the right tools and the right know-how, we fired up the Lister yesterday.
















he also brought his kids, and they enjoyed the 'treehouse', aka yurt